The Edinburgh Festival will be bigger than ever this year, in fact, it will be physically impossible to watch even a tenth of the 2453 shows on offer. To get ourselves in the mood we’ve been watching some archive Fringe films, in particular this great 1963 video log.
We love some of the stranger acts on offer. Today many of the Fringe’s acts are mega stars, with appearances from television faces Russell Brand, Ricky Gervais and Simon Amstell. Back in the 60s it really was people on the outer fringes of stardom…!
The festival is understandably a very commercial affair today, but its roots are planted in a passion for the arts as can be seen in British Pathe’s footage of the festival. The 1963 video shows Benjamin Britten discussing music with the festival’s then artistic director Lord Harewood.
Last Monday BBC Radio Lancashire spoke to Alastair White from the British Pathe film archive about Lancashire’s rich and varied history, much of which was captured on film by British Pathe. Certainly some of Lancashire’s most momentous moments, including an FA Cup victory and key milestones in the war effort, make for a fascinating watch.
Here are links to some of the videos discussed on the show, and below is a general link to the entire Lancashire collection.
One of the first challenges that archivists had to tackle whilst putting together this footage was sorting through hundreds of newsreels and videos on Liverpool and Manchester, both cities being listed as ‘Lancashire’ in the canister notes and filed away as so in British Pathe’s Pinewood vault, as the footage pre-dates the county’s boundary alterations!
Brilliant aerial footage, one of the biggest breaking news stories in Britain that day.
Lancashire was at the forefront of the war effort.
Beauty Pageants and fashion shows aimed at holidaymakers are a well established tradition in Blackpool. The British Pathe website has many videos of these fun events. Brrrr.
The narration in this Cotton Queen video is quite amusing. What happened to the Cotton Queen anyway? We think Lancashire should bring the contest back, don’t you?
On Sunday millions of us will be chewing our nails until they bleed as England play Germany in the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Despite almost 70 years of peace, it’s hard for many Britons to watch sporting events against Germany without old emotions churning from those wars and rivalries of the past that are over yet all but long forgotten. What actually happens when England play Germany in a World Cup match these days? Is Terry’s team capable of taking on the challenge witout making it a cringing embarrassment? Of course there’s the infamous 1966 game, but that’s no accurate reflection of the countries’ respective match history.
British Pathe have several great film clips of Germany and England going head to head in the World Cup. There was the match where Germany beat England 1-0 in 1968. There was the time that England defeated Germany 3-1 in 1956. And what about that crazy 1935 match. See – you didn’t know as much as you thought, did you?
Where is Le Mans happening this year? Just kidding. Although actress Cameron Diaz did once famously ask an aid where the Cannes film festival was going to be held that summer. The 2010 24 Hours of Le Mans will be taking place on the 12th of June, so in five days time! Known as the Grand Prix of endurance, we love this 1962 clip of the LE MANS race the roars of the engines, the classic narrator – “By morning, only 21 cars still running, most of them Italian”, the dramatic music score and harrowing throw-away close-ups of roadside wreckages!
Everyone’s been watching this video footage of the famous 1955 Le Mans Disaster online. Between 80 and 120 spectators were killed after a Mercedes car flew off the track into the crowd making it the most catastrophic accident in motorsports history. Watch the video of the Le Mans disaster and then read about the horrific accident here on the official Wikipedia page.
Pictured above is an ‘art car’ designed by Jeff Koons for this year’s Le Mans race. (Source: Mirror.co.uk) Andy Warhol, like most things, did one in the past. And before anyone mentions Damien Hirst and his polka-dot Mini, check out this magnificent video of students in the 60s decorating a Mini, it’s fabulous: Students decorate a Mini!
In other Le Mans news: Le Mans Classic will also be coming up in July. Gautier Rossignol from Peter Auto, the race organisers, said “We can now confirm that the race dates for the Le Mans Classic will be from the 9th – 11th July 2010. We hope that many British car clubs and individuals will be able to join us for more fun an excitement.” (Source www.lemansrace.com) So that’s something to look forward to next month!
Search ‘Le Mans’ into the British Pathé Film Archive to lap up some great shots of Le Mans and other motorsports treats. … Vrooooom…
The Grand Prix started in 1894, British Pathé started in 1897, and so naturally a strong media partnership evolved between the two companies. British Pathé were there on the side of the road filming the hottest Grand Prix races of the 20th century. British Pathé cameramen were at all the after parties too, talking to the it-girls as they swooned and crooned for a racing driver boyfriend, or even a Royal marriage. British Pathé were also sadly there to film the crashes, the flips, the Formula 1 knife edge between life and death when a strong swerve sent things spiralling out of control.